4 Alternatives to Traditional Christmas Gift-Giving

Is anyone else Christmas obsessed? I usually get in the Christmas spirit in the summer and listen to Christmas music until Christmas day. I know, I know. I’m one of thooooose people.

I just can’t help myself! Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year, and it’s the only time I get to see my whole family.

Anyway, it’s no secret that Christmas, as beautiful and jolly (!!!) and wonderful as it is can be damaging to our finances. Gifts cost a ton of money, plus the cost of travel expenses, food (and more food…and more food….) and higher entertainment costs. The total cost of Christmas can very easily reach over $1,000 or more.

While buying gifts is very generous, most people aren’t attached to receiving gifts. Why not consider alternatives to traditional Christmas gift-giving to save some serious money during the season? Here are 4 alternative ideas for you to try.

Secret Santa gift exchange

Have your family pool together to do a secret Santa gift exchange.

If you don’t know how it works, you simply put everyone’s name in a hat and have everyone draw one. You only buy one gift for that specific person.

The hardest, but most fun part about this is keeping who you’re shopping for a secret! And it’s more fun to pick out one really amazing gift for one person instead of trying to scramble for gifts for everyone.

Set spending limits

Together with your family, decide how much you are allowed to spend on gifts for one another.

You could do something fair, but affordable, like $30 per person max. Or you could really challenge one another and do a $10 gift limit. This forces you to get creative with your gift giving.

Make homemade gifts

For those of you who have been #blessed with DIY skills (unlike me), making your own Christmas gifts can save you a ton of money.

Quick note about DIY – I literally have no DIY sills, but I try hard. I crocheted scarves for everyone one year and they were the saddest thing ever. I mean, they were hideous. So only DIY if you’re confident in yourself and in your own skills 🙂

Focus on birthday gifts instead of Christmas gifts

This is what my mom decided to do. Instead of going ham on buying Christmas gifts, she gives each of us a generous birthday gift. Before, we used to do small gifts for birthdays and big gifts for Christmas.

This saved my mother a ton of money and a ton of headache! Since she is still a mom, she insists on getting us stocking stuffers for Christmas so we still have something to open Christmas morning.

Following my mother’s example, I started to do this as well. I love it because it makes that person’s birthday extra special and gives me time to search for a gift I know they want.

Budget-wise, this works incredibly well for me. Instead of saving hundreds of dollars for Christmas gifts, I can save and spend that money throughout the entire year for everyone’s birthdays.

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Christmas is such a happy time of year, and I think you’ll find that by committing to an alternative form of gift-giving, you’ll have just as much, if not more, joy during the season!

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4 thoughts on “4 Alternatives to Traditional Christmas Gift-Giving

  1. Really interesting I domn’t make a lot of gifts and usually set a budget but I like to plan them ahead try to end Christmas shopping for the end of November…I love Christmas too!!!

  2. My family is HUGE on giving gifts and it seems like it’s some sort of emotional thing with my parents. We have slowly been pressing for giving less and less gifts, and we finally switched to a secret santa name draw with my extended family. It only reduced the gifts slightly, though, and we have a long ways to go. It’s tough with my siblings and I having money goals and having Christmas take such a huge one-time hit out of our budgets. These are all great ideas and I’ll be sharing the post on the YAM Pinterest the day before Thanksgiving!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…How to Find the Best Cyber Monday DealsMy Profile

    1. Thanks, DC! My mother has the hardest time with it, too. Now that all of us kids moved out, she has been “gifting” us our old stuff left in their house! Good idea to clean the house I guess!

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